KC Royals take series from Boston in comeback win
By Eric Boston
The KC Royals faced the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber-match of a three-game series in front of 30,826 at The K.
The mission for the KC Royals was simple–get back to within 1 game of .500. After an 8-3 loss to Chirs Sale and the Sox on Tuesday, Kansas City called on Ian Kennedy (1-6, 5.03 ERA) to battle Drew Pomeranz (6-4, 4.19 ERA) in the series finale.
Kennedy was excellent through the first three frames, notching a K and a BB. It looked like it might be a good day for Ian, who could definitely have used one.
Offensive, Eric Hosmer led off the 2nd inning with a double, followed by a Salvador Perez single. Mike Moustakas then hit into a double play to open up the scoring, driving in Hos. The Royals led 1-0 after two.
Alcides Escobar followed in Hosmer’s footsteps, leading off the third inning with a double to LF. Two straight ground outs brought Alcides home and gave Kennedy a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning the wheels fell off.
As good as Kennedy looked early, he was equal part garbage the second time through the order.
Back to back home runs from Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts tied the game at 2-2. Kennedy then walked Mitch Moreland, but was able to punch out Chris Young to limit the damage (for the moment).
A lead off single by Christian Vazquez to start the fifth led to the first of two throwing errors on Royal pitchers on the afternoon. Kennedy picked up the first error making the throw to first off a Deven Marrero sac bunt, putting runners on second and third. Mookie Betts then hit a sac fly to LF to make the score 3-2 Boston.
An intentional walk to Bogaerts brought Ian’s day to an end. He exited with a final line of 4.1 IP, 4 Ks, 3 BBs, and 2 ERs. Not his finest outing as he gave way to Mike Minor.
The second throwing error, this time by Minor, came on a pick-off attempt to first base and allowed another run to score before Minor got Moreland to pop out to end the inning. The Sox were up 4-2 after five.
Drew Pomeranz cruised; he finished with 6.1 IP, 5 Ks, 1 BB, and 2 ERs before running into trouble after singles by Salvy and Cheslor Cuthbert in the seventh. Joe Kelly came in and walked Ramon Torres to load the bases, but avoided catastrophe by getting Whit Merrifield to line out to end the inning.
Joakim Soria replaced Minor in the eighth and had a nice 1-2-3 inning including a K. Everybody: get off Jack’s back!
Matt Barnes came in for the Sox in the bottom of the eighth. Suddenly, there was a glimmer of hope for the KC Royals. Barnes walked Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain to start the frame.
Rubby Scott was called on to replace Barnes and try to hold the lead.
Those walk germs must have remained on the ball as Scott quickly loaded the bases with a free pass to Hos.
This brought Salvy up with the bases juiced.
Perez worked the count and it looked like he may be the fourth straight walk. But what do you think Salvy is going to do in that situation?
That’s right, hang dong in Grand style.
Perez launched his 15th HR of the season to not only clear the bases, but give the KC Royals a 6-4 lead.
Kelvin Herrera came in to finish off the game in the top of the 9th. After a lead off double for Jackie Bradley Jr., KH was able to get Josh Rutledge to ground out to short, then struck out Vazquez on three straight pitches. Hanley Ramirez pinch hit for Marrero and promptly flew out to center to end the game.
Herrera picked up save #17 on the season. The win went to Soria, who is now 3-2, as the KC Royals took the series from the Red Sox for their fourth straight series win.
The KC Royals will resume play Friday night as the Toronto Blue Jays come to town for a weekend series at The K.